The mood was mellow at Victory Park when I arrived at Occupy New Hampshire’s encampment late this afternoon. Thirty-five or forty people were scattered about, though it wasn’t clear which ones were “occupying,” and which were just hanging out. But all of them were part of the “99%,” and everyone seemed comfortable together, so it doesn’t really matter. And that seems to be the point.
During the day, the Occupy NH community worked on its infrastructure of committees and tasks. There is now a media tent and a medic tent, in addition to the big motor home parked on Amherst St, and another ten tents for sleeping. While a spaghetti dinner was being prepared, several people waved signs at motorists on Chestnut Street, three men tossed a frisbee, and a self-described “mutualist anarchist” carried on an intense discussion about the “counter economy” with a libertarian. As they discussed the connection between the state and the ruling class, a man with a guitar sang Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here .”
During the day, Manchester Police Chief David Mara stopped by for a visit, as did Ken Roos, First VP of the NH State Employees Union. Barbara Thorngren of the Alternatives to Violence Project, led community building exercises. As I was leaving, Marty from the Carpenters Union was setting up an “art station” and WMUR-TV was getting ready to broadcast a story on its evening news. The day’s first General Assembly included discussion of possible actions participants might take in the coming days and weeks. Another “GA” is taking place right now; I’ll look at the Occupy NH web site later hoping to find out what they decided.